Crewel Addiction

I have decided that I need to figure out a way to make my artwork portable.  But how?  I cannot take a million pieces of paper with me, sorted by color and pattern, on airplanes or in cars or in camp grounds.  This has been a dilemma for three years now.  However, I think I have found a solution.

Sometimes we just have to try new things, right?  Or revisit old ones to see if they still appeal.  The very first formal craft I taught myself back when I was about 10 was crewel embroidery.  I would walk down to Sav-On Drugs to buy crewel embroidery kits stocked with three-ply wool yarn.  From there I moved on to stronger drugs like needlepoint and counted cross-stitch.  I used to take those kits with me wherever I went because my worst enemy is idle hands.  It dawned on me about one week ago that maybe, just maybe, I could recreate my style of collage using strands of wool and a needle instead of paper and scissors.

I scrounged through old kits that I’ve kept but will never finish, pulling out whatever supplies I could find.  Based on the odd assortment of colored wool strands that I found, I selected a photo I took last fall at Bluewater Lake State Park (located along I-40 halfway between Albuquerque and Gallup, New Mexico).  I found some old muslin scraps in my stash, too, which I carefully washed and pressed.  On a sheet of graph paper, I sketched out the major shapes in the photo, and then, using Chaco transfer paper, I traced the 8”x10” image onto the cloth.  I found several old plastic embroidery hoops, any of which will work, and a variety of sizes of big-eyed embroidery needles.  I even found the Coats & Clark’s “Learn to” booklet I bought decades ago for $.35 that shows how to do all kinds of basic needlework.  So far I haven’t spent a new penny on my experiment.

Whenever I have a new idea for a project, I get restless.  One can only work on it in one’s mind for very long before the fingers begin to twitch nervously.  But I cannot drop my everyday life to begin now, so I have to be patient.  Will the needles I have poke too large of holes in the fabric?  Can I reliably use two strands of different colored wool and get a variety of new colors?  Will my hands respond nimbly enough?  Stay tuned . . .

Recycled Supplies

Recycled Supplies

Bluewater Lake State Park, NM

Bluewater Lake State Park, NM


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